Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup

Health News
Every day, we scour the Web looking for compelling wellness stories that provide the information — and inspiration — you need to make good choices. Here are this week’s must-read wellness articles.

Sugar Industry Paid Heart Researchers to Blame Fat

Huge news: The sugar industry bribed researchers in the 1960s to downplay the link between sugar and heart disease and, instead, point the finger at saturated fat, according to a new paper in JAMA Internal Medicine. “These tactics are strikingly similar to what we saw in the tobacco industry in the same era,” Stanton Glantz of the University of California San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, told NBC. Unfortunately, not much has changed, NPR notes: “What might surprise consumers is just how many present-day nutrition studies are still funded by the food industry.” (NBC)

To Beat Diabetes, Adopt a Low-Carb Diet

When it comes to diabetes, forget bariatric surgery and eat low-carb. That’s the upshot of a commentary co-written in The New York Times by a medical director at the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School and the medical director of the weight-loss program at Indiana University Health Arnett. The piece says low-carb diets are “a better, safer and far cheaper method” to tackle diabetes than weight-loss surgery. (NYT)

An Entire State in India Goes Organic

India, which has more organic farmers than any other country, is home to the first state in the world to receive 100 percent organic certification. Sikkim, a state in northeast India that is bordered by Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet, has pledged that its 66,000 farmers will forgo GMOs, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides. (GOOD)

The Caribbean is Running Low on Coconuts

Coconut water, milk, and oil have never been trendier, which is good news for health-minded folks. The bad news? The Caribbean, which supplies many of the world’s coconuts, is experiencing a coconut shortage. “Storms, droughts and the Lethal Yellowing disease, spread by plant-hopping insects, have wiped out entire farms,” Bloomberg notes, adding that “growers have failed to invest in new trees, or fertilizers to improve yields.” (Bloomberg)

Beverage Industry Goes to War on Philly’s Sugary Drink Tax

Beverage companies and retailers are suing the city of Philadelphia to try and stop the sweetened-drink tax slated to go into effect in January. This summer, the city approved a 1.5 cents-per-ounce levy on sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks. The beverage industry argues that the tax is unfair and would raise prices on sugary drinks by 31 percent. (The Wall Street Journal)

Advocacy Groups Urge FDA to ‘Immediately’ Restrict Antibiotic Use on Farms

The growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance spurred several advocacy groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, to file a petition Tuesday asking the FDA to “immediately” restrict certain uses of antibiotics in livestock and poultry. The groups say that the voluntary program created by the FDA three years ago has not reduced antibiotic use on farms. “In fact,” STAT notes, “the groups argue that antibiotic use in food-producing animals has actually increased by 5 percent since the program was announced.” (STAT)

German Nutritionists Give Thumbs Down to Vegan Diet

Although Berlin is known as a vegan mecca, the German Nutrition Society came out with a new position paper pooh-poohing the plant-based diet, saying it was “difficult or impossible” to get an adequate supply of nutrients without supplementation. Read the paper here. (NPR)